Panos Institute Southern Africa announces new Executive Director

Vusumuzi Sifile has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) effective from October 1, 2019.

The PSAf Board released a statement expressing its pleasure in the announcement, adding that Sifile came out as the top candidate for the position, and just the person to take the mission and the vision of the organisation forward. Prior to this appointment, he served as the PSAf Knowledge Management and Communications Manager.

According to its website, the Panos Institute Southern Africa is a regional non-profit, non-governmental communication for development organisation that uses innovative methodologies to engage the media and other key stakeholders to ensure that the development agenda is shaped and driven by the most affected members of communities across Southern Africa.

Prior positions also include PSAf’s Senior Programme Officer for Environment and Natural Resources Management, and before joining the organisation he worked as a communications assistant for the World Agroforestry Centre, a senior staff writer for The Standard newspaper and a correspondent for Radio Voice of the People, both in Zimbabwe, and briefly served as Editor of The Mirror newspaper in Botswana.

Sifile also worked as a correspondent for international media agencies, the Inter Press Service (IPS News) and IRIN News, now known as The New Humanitarian.

He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Knowledge and Information Systems Management from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. He also has professional qualifications in multimedia and online journalism, conflict management and mitigation, results-based monitoring and evaluation, Web 2.0. and social media for development.

Board Chairperson Mpolai Moteetee has said the organisation, which is part of a global network and operates in 12 countries across Southern Africa, looks forward to the leadership and skills that Sifile will bring to the table. "We are grateful to our partners for the support they give us, and we are confident that they will support Mr. Sifile in his new role as the PSAf Executive Director."

His predecessor, Lilian Saka Kiefer, led PSAf since 2011 and has left to further her studies in the United Kingdom.

During her tenure, Kiefer oversaw the development and implementation of the organisation’s strategic plans for 2012 to 2016, and the current strategy for 2017 to 2021. In the statement, the organisation's board chairperson, Mpolai Moteetee, commended Kiefer for her visionary leadership, which shaped PSAf into the great organisation it has become.

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